Marketing Ingredient: Campaigns
Or, how to do—any & all—marketing effectively. Campaigns are your base ingredient for developing demand generation flywheels that scale.
Are salt and pepper technically ingredients, per se? Famously minimalistic food blogs tout complete dinners with “five ingredients or less,” but the salt and pepper are typically missing from that item count. In marketing, I think of the campaign as salt and pepper: it’s so ubiquitous you may not even realize how often you use a campaign framework for projects and initiatives.
For this Marketing Ingredient, we will dive into the deceptively omnipresent campaign. From scraping into its humble definition—a series of actions to complete a goal—to uncovering the right structure to help you scale, campaigns are the most fundamental marketing ingredient. (Y’all know, like S&P in the kitchen.)
Plus, I baked some extra special dessert for you at the end of this Marketing Ingredient: a complete ABM Competitor Campaign template in Notion. It’s always free + easy, so let’s bake! 🍰
Campaigns: The Binding Agent
In baking, a binding agent is an ingredient that joins the rest of the components together to form a cohesive, final product. I like to think of campaigns as the marketing binder because a campaign joins efforts across a healthy mix of teams and their channels into one final product designed to produce one desired outcome. Campaigns are the quintessential ingredient to organize the millions of moving pieces that each marketing recipe requires.
The Marketing Campaign
Campaign has different definitions and connotations, so let’s set the standard for our Marketing Ingredient:
A marketing campaign is a collection of activities designed to attain a desired outcome that is measurable and scalable.
Those last two words are essential. Without a campaign, you’ll fall short of gathering the correct data to make informed decisions to evaluate your next steps. Orchestrating your activities into a campaign is to define ways to measure success or failure. And, if you find statically significant success, you need to be able to scale the most effective strategies quickly.
Bake It Measurable
A campaign has to start with a goal (otherwise, it’s not a campaign!). With campaigns, you want to start at the end: where do you want to finish when the campaign is done? Then, your campaign type and strategy will build around that desired outcome. You’ll set an overall goal and then set additional goals to measure each campaign component along the way.
Bake It Scalable
Because campaigns are a series of related actions, and because you effectively measured each outcome, you can now scale your campaign. You can also adjust with finer precision the aspects of the campaign that were more or less successful. Align your measurements and KPIs with the types of marketing activities that do scale, including campaign budget and spend, expanding or refining audience targeting, adding new prospects to sequences, or expanding a successful blog post into a pillar page.
Gather Your Kitchen Crew
Since campaigns are a way to align and organize a lot of messaging, strategy and cross-functional teams, it will necessarily contain a lot of smaller ingredients. So don’t skimp! Consider the breadth of stakeholders and the people that will touch each part of the campaign and how your approach will bring them together into the cohesive, final product.
To bake your marketing campaign properly, go beyond your core marketers. Gather an elite team in your kitchen with the knife skills necessary to slice, dice and optimize. It’s our job as marketing leaders to widely set the expectations that will execute the campaign correctly.
Stress campaign importance to the org
Keep individual contributors on track
Hold marketing responsible for metrics
→ Superpower: supporting marketing and rallying the team
In-depth competitive and market analysis
Set the right value props for your product
Persona-based content for your ICPs
→ Superpower: providing the right messaging and context
Manage tasks and deliverables
Create project milestones
Campaign ROI tracking
→ Superpower: there’s nothing more powerful than accurate data!
Translate messaging to design + copy
Optimize campaign-related content for SEO
Run PPC campaigns for a wider reach
→ Superpower: speaks the language of your target personas
Handles 1:1 tactics with cold outbound
Sequenced, on-message follow-up for MQLs
Track campaign lead sources through opps won / lost
→ Superpower: leveraging inbound efforts to maximize SALs
Aligns sales and marketing
Protects product and brand messaging
Distributes content to channels
→ Superpower: turns sales and marketing efforts into pipeline
Social & PPC
Leverages paid channels for fast MQLs
Builds brand awareness with organic social
AB tests messaging and positioning
→ Superpower: iterating quickly to do more of what’s working
Channels: The Display Case
A marketing channel is the place where your audience interacts with your content. To be a better marketer, though, let’s define a channel as the place where your content will reach the most ICPs. Much as you define your goal before gathering the ingredients of a campaign, you must define your channels before you start making the content. Channels are the display case where you place the measurable, scalable elements of your campaign—within easy reach of the prospect.
Match Content with Channels
First, determine channels that best fit the goals of your campaign. Not all channels are right for all outcomes, but campaigns should use at least three. Multichannel marketing simply means using more than one channel. Omnichannel is not, in fact, all channels as the name implies, but rather references the seamless experience a user has across multiple channels.
Focusing on the user journey in SaaS will always improve outcomes. Consider your overall campaign messaging and the channels where your prospects will encounter your positioning. Creating a seamless experience is the domain of a fantastic brand or content marketer.
Once you understand the desired outcomes, product messaging and develop a channel strategy, your campaign has a decent outline. Now, the campaign is ready to be positioned as an offering in the display case.
Content for ABM Competitor Campaign
Further down in this Marketing Ingredient, you’ll find a link to a Notion template for an ABM Competitor Campaign. Let’s set our primary campaign CTA as registration for a 45-minute long gated webinar. You’ll partner with an industry expert to offer an analysis of the current landscape and an exclusive tour of product features that set you apart from the competition.
That core content can be repurposed and redistributed in dozens of ways. Like hearty ciabatta becomes panzanella, or crisp tortilla chips are an early morning treat when transformed into chilaquiles, your primary content is your base for the rest of the campaign.
Turn 15-second clips of the industry expert to create thought leadership social media posts and LinkedIn ads. Create email invites that also provide ungated links to related resources. Write outbound sequences to generate conversations with prospects. Run a promotion leading up to the day of the webinar. It’s up to you — keep it all measurable and scalable.
Measuring: The Secret Sauce
The best feature of campaigns is that they’re measurable. Like in baking, the measuring must be precise. It must be intentional, focused and have enough volume to be statistically significant.
Campaigns Are Made for Measuring
Before we can use this marketing ingredient, you need to be well-stocked with the right measuring tools. A campaign will cross channels with a lot of different content, so understanding what’s working, where, why—and for how much—is mission critical.
You’ll want to set goals to measure the effectiveness of your entire campaign, plus goals for each of the campaign’s components. KPIs are “key performance indicators.” A KPI is a target you set that indicates the directional success or failure. Examples of KPIs for marketing include measurements such as cost per click (CPC), click-through rates (CTR), return on ad spend (ROAS) and the amount of marketing or sales qualified leads generated (MQLs and SQLs).
Types of Campaign Measuring Tools
Content: Gain insights into your content performance with search rankings for keywords, backlinks, domain authority and revenue impact. Shift into a channel analysis to optimize your content for every unique persona and niche platform.
Email: Core metrics include open rate, click-through rate, unsubscribe and bounce rates. Advanced analytics dives deeper with heat maps to break down how each part of the email performs.
Web: Track page views, bounce rates and user demographics. Know what’s driving traffic with referral sources. Make your website work even harder for your pipeline by capturing the companies that are showing intent by browsing your site.
PPC: Monitor your ad performance to adjust bid strategy, budgets and audiences. AB test content, offers and value props. Bonus points for analyzing how your ad conversions impact down-funnel activity.
Social: Get that feel-good dopamine with your impressions, likes, comments and shares. Use social listening tools to monitor your brand, competitors and top keywords in real-time for maximum engagement.
Let’s Bake: ABM Competitor Campaign Template
Ready to create a campaign in your marketing kitchen? Let’s bake! 🍰 This Marketing Cake Ingredient includes a free Notion template for an ABM Competitor Campaign.
How to Use the Notion Template for ABM Campaigns
The Notion is designed as a comprehensive overview of an ABM competitor campaign. ABM stands for “account-based marketing” and aligns sales and marketing to target high-value accounts. The messaging is consistent across inbound and outbound motions for a true omnichannel approach. And, throw in competitive positioning to explain to your prospects why you’re the best choice in a certain category, and you have a classic B2B campaign.
The Notion template assumes the campaign will run for the first quarter of 2024 and has dates set accordingly, with a kickoff one quarter prior. The template also has sections for types of tasks and the teams typically responsible for them. Assign owners to each task and change the task status. Upload any content items, like landing page URLs or social media graphics. Finally, keep track of blocking tasks and the days until each is due.
Grab this campaign recipe for your marketing kitchen and bake fresh MQLs!